Hooligan Zoo

Two Zookeepers… many Hooligans… It's always feeding time at this zoo!

Multitude Monday – One Thousand Gifts

on April 11, 2011

Today I was at a friend’s house. Our hooligans were running amok, and we were conversing. Talking about parenting, as women who are with their children all day every day do sometimes.

We had our tea in our hands, and as an armour plated knight ran past, she looked me in the eye and said,

“You know, sometimes I am shocked by how selfish I am.”

And I looked around her house, I saw the evidence that her children are a priority in her life. My mind flashed back over times when I had seen her calmly and patiently correct her children, deal with strife between both of our children. I thought about how I knew how much she thought through her homeschooling plan, how she worked hard for her children, her family. As an onlooker, on the outside of her family, I thought to myself in that moment, “Selfish??”

And then she elaborated.

“I get angry when it’s MY agenda that’s being disturbed. When the kids are too noisy and it makes me crazy, it’s because I WANT it to be quiet. I want things a certain way. When I’m too stuck in what I want, THAT’S when things don’t go well.”

Huh.

It’s so true, isn’t it? I know I post a lot of happy stuff here, tend to not get too deep in the nitty gritty, in the days where I would happily ditch it all and fly off somewhere warm with a cabana boy to hold my yarn and bring me cold drinks. All while I lounged, the sun shining down, sparkling off of the clear blue waters…..

Some days I want them to just obey. Blind obedience would sure be helpful. I say that, but then I also say that I want my children to learn to THINK. To make good choices. To be helpful and take initiative. How can they do that if I’m barking orders all the time to get them to mould to my agenda? My agenda that changes? Seemingly on a whim?

Is that selfish?

Sure it is. It makes our family all about me. Not about us. Ja and I, as parents need to be firm, not harsh. We need to raise these children up to be good adults. Adults who are grounded in faith, who know that we love them more than the things they screw up. Adults who know that they are loved, and in the knowing, can spill that out onto others, making the world a better place.

And so, I, once again, resolve to create firm boundaries, but to allow the hooligans to have freedom within those boundaries. To help them to learn from their mistakes, and not to be fearful of them. To learn that giving of themselves is glorifying to God. That showing grace to others is what makes people smile.

They will learn this best when I start modelling it. When I let go of my own agenda, and adopt God’s agenda.

Because frankly? When I put God at the centre, things tend to go my way regardless of what else may be happening.

371. visits and heart to hearts with good friends
372. small knights rescuing small princesses
373. green. hazy, fleeting, but there…
374. a life well lived
375. talking over worries, even when it’s scary to do so
376. fear
377. new books
378. homemade bread
379. knitting sleeves
380. curtains billowing in the breeze
381. Trees showing the promise of spring
382. small boys, content to dig… and dig…. and dig….
383. the glee of that first spring bike ride
384. laughing children
385. sweet neighbours who come to play

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